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Old 02-10-2005, 07:37 AM   #16
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Originally posted by U2utah2U
Yes, details would be nice. It's just that I hear the same rhetoric time and time again--Walmart treats their employees poorly, they run local businesses into the ground, they're the corporation of the devil (yes, I've heard that!)

Now, I realize there is a lot more going on here than I would probably like to know or admit. I mean, our whole American mercantile and retail industry is based on cheap labor. Why single out Walmart? Is it because they're getting a bigger piece of the pie?

Years ago in Utah it was 7-Eleven that was driving out the little guy. They would build one 7-Eleven on a corner opposite a local gas station. Then, they would build another identical station across the street. So, at an interesection they're would be two 7-Elevens and one local store. 7-Eleven would undercut the competition, drive them out of business and then raze one of the 7-Elevens. Now that seems unethical, but my Dad worked at 7-Eleven and that's how he put food on the table. It is a much more complicated situation than to just point the finger and say "You're evil, Walmart."

In addition, I probably shouldn't be buying Minute Maid orange juice because that just helps Coca-Cola, another of Satan's companies.

So, I'm willing to check out any articles that you all can point me to. But again, I'm tired of the same-old "Walmart sucks" smear campaign. Let me see some hard facts. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe that kind of information is difficult to obtain.

--average American that shops at Walmart.
"Nearly a century ago, Henry Ford planned for his employees to be his best customers. Challenging the conventional wisdom that the best way to maximize profits was to tailor your product to the wealthiest segment of society, Ford decided to market his black Model T as "America's Everyman car."

For Ford, mass production went hand-in-hand with mass consumption. He established a simple benchmark for worker compensation: His workers should be able to buy the product they were making. Ford promised a $5-a-day minimum wage for all his workers - twice the prevailing automobile industry average.

Doing so, Ford created a virtuous circle. Workers flocked to his factory to apply for positions. If they managed to secure a coveted job, then in time they too would be able to afford one of his cars. The company flourished on these twin pillars - a desirable product and a highly motivated employee base. By the time production of the Model T ceased in 1927, Ford had sold more than 15 million cars - half the world's output.

Compare Ford's virtuous cycle with Wal-Mart's dual strategy of ruthless cost-cutting and "Everyday low prices." On the surface, the goal is the same - produce goods that consumers want and can afford to buy. The result in implementation, however, is vastly different.

While Ford's business model helped lay the foundation for a rising middle class in America, the Wal-Mart model reinforces downward mobility. Wal-Mart today is the largest commercial employer of labor in the United States. In 2002, 82 percent of American households bought something at Wal-Mart. Americans must love to shop at Wal-Mart; on the other hand, maybe they have no choice. A sizeable percentage of Wal-Mart's sales come from low-income households.

The effort to minimize production costs is a legitimate business strategy; no argument there. But does Wal-Mart realize that the employees whose wages they squeeze are often the customers upon whom they rely to fuel their business?

While Ford created demand and wealth with a new and innovative product, Wal-Mart displaces existing demand - siphoning consumption from elsewhere by under-cutting prices. Wal-Mart sets the pricing agenda in whichever market it enters. Suppliers and competitors are squeezed - forced either to push jobs overseas themselves, or forced out of business altogether. For every Wal-Mart supercenter that opens in the next five years, two other supermarkets will close.

Now that it has reached the bargain basement on domestic production costs, Wal-Mart is increasingly turning to overseas operations to stock its shelves. Wal-Mart's domination of the U.S. retail economy has ramifications beyond its own profit margin.

Many economists present Wal-Mart as a net-positive for the U.S. economy. The popular interpretation of anti-trust law today holds that large companies are only a threat to the community if their dominance results in rising prices for consumers. Hence, Wal-Mart escapes regulation because the company's domination of the retail sector delivers lower prices, across the board. Little long-term thought is given to the wider implications of the methods the company uses to produce those lower prices.

The single-minded pursuit of economic growth can exact a heavy toll on a community. Our economic goal of creating wealth should coincide with our ideals of human and societal development. In today's business environment dominated by Wal-Mart, Henry Ford's ideas would be as revolutionary as they were when they were first applied. "
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:39 AM   #17
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When it became clear to Wal-Mart that plans for a superstore in Inglewood, California, would not be approved by the local city council, they spent more than $1 million to promote a ballot initiative that, according to The New York Times, would have made the uber-chain "essentially exempt...from all of Inglewood's planning, zoning, and environmental regulations, creating a city-within-a-city subject only to its own rules." Though Wal-Mart paid signature gatherers for the initiative more than the average wages of its stores' clerks, opponents of the measure, with the support of elected officials, community groups, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Nation of Islam were able to defeat the measure by more than a three-to-two margin in yesterday's vote.

Read more at:

http://msnbc.msn.com/ID/4676390/

Wal-Mart is also investing in politics at the national level. Last year, the company's political action committee was the number one corporate donor in the country, with over $1 million in contributions. You get one guess as to which party receives 85% of its donations. Read more at:

http://www.americanprogress.org/site...8OVF&b=39854#3
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:47 AM   #18
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Thanks for "Where would Jesus shop? Not Wal-mart." At least it offers some figures. However, it is still a biased article with an agenda. When reading it, I didn't feel like I was informed, I felt like I was reading propaganda.

And the title? I think we could change that to "Where would Jesus LIVE? Not the United States." Okay, that's off topic but I think Wal-mart gets the blame because they are representative of how, I dare say, MOST companies run their businesses. Illegal immigrants getting the shaft happens everywhere.

All right, I'm going to go cool down and come back with a more objective mindset.

Keep the articles coming.
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:55 AM   #19
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Ok my meeting was delayed so I'll give one example that I know first hand.

I use to work for a company where Wal Mart was one of our clients. Wal Mart was a big portion of our bread and butter and they knew it. Our billing would go several months overdue. But of couse we couldn't drop them and they knew that. They would keep our money, the money they owed us in short term accounts in order to draw interest, they would pay their vendors because of course they don't want them to pull out. After bills went 6 to 8 months past due they would finally pay us. The interest they made on keeping the money in these accounts make up for your low prices. This was something they were doing to the industry as a whole(architecture), some of our competition would try legal action but just couldn't afford to go up against Wal Mart. Wal Mart would only hire small to medium size firms to do their work. In fact Wal Mart actually convinced one of their firms(I'm sure there are more, but I know of this one first hand) to drop all other clients working soley for Wal Mart, promised they'd pay on time and send them a certain amount of stores per quarter. Well they sent them the certain amount of stores, but never paid on time and now the company no longer exists.
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:03 AM   #20
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Thanks Cardosino. The only drawback to this kind of forum is that we're both typing at the same time so our comments aren't posted chronologically from our perspective. Any way, I appreciate those articles. What is the source of the first one on Ford? That seemed to speak to me. Could you send me the title of the msnbc article. For whatever reason, the link is not opening on my end.

And BVS, thanks. I think this is what we need--insider info. That also has to be weighed objectively but it is nice to know first hand accounts of what goes on.

Going back to the Henry Ford article, are there any coorporations you feel follow these ideals today?

*off to school*
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:11 AM   #21
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Originally posted by U2utah2U
Thanks Cardosino. The only drawback to this kind of forum is that we're both typing at the same time so our comments aren't posted chronologically from our perspective. Any way, I appreciate those articles. What is the source of the first one on Ford? That seemed to speak to me. Could you send me the title of the msnbc article. For whatever reason, the link is not opening on my end.

And BVS, thanks. I think this is what we need--insider info. That also has to be weighed objectively but it is nice to know first hand accounts of what goes on.

Going back to the Henry Ford article, are there any coorporations you feel follow these ideals today?

*off to school*
I believe the Ford article came from here, I keep meaning to buy it, but haven't yet:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846


Here's the MSNBC article

Wal-Mart ballot measure fails
Inglewood, Calif., voters reject superstore
The Associated Press
Updated: 12:55 p.m. ET April 7, 2004

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Voters rejected a ballot measure that would have cleared the way for a colossal Wal-Mart in this Los Angeles suburb, one of several communities across the nation to resist the retailer's advances.


Activists who opposed the measure — which would have allowed Wal-Mart to skirt zoning, traffic and environmental reviews — said it would hurt the community by inviting the Supercenter to drive out small business and encourage sprawl.

With all 29 precincts and absentee ballots counted late Tuesday night, Inglewood voters opposed the measure 60.6 percent to 39.3 percent, said Gabby Contreras of the city clerk's office.

The tally was 7,049 votes against the initiative and 4,575 in favor. Contreras said there are about 40,000 registered voters in the city.

"This is very, very positive for those folks who want to stand up and ... hold this corporate giant responsible," said Daniel Tabor, a former City Council member who had campaigned against the initiative.

Debate raged for weeks in this working-class community. Opponents said passage would clear the way for Wal-Mart to build a combination supermarket-retail store next to Hollywood Park racetrack.

The City Council last year blocked the proposed shopping center, which would include both a traditional Wal-Mart and other stores — prompting the Bentonville, Ark.-based company to collect more than 10,000 signatures to force the vote.

In a statement, the company said the decision means Inglewood residents will have to go elsewhere to shop at Wal-Mart.

"We are disappointed that a small group of Inglewood leaders together with representatives of outside special interests were able to convince a majority of Inglewood voters that they don't deserve the job opportunities and shopping choices that others in the LA area enjoy," the company said.

Wal-Mart had argued in Inglewood and elsewhere in California that its stores create jobs and said residents should be able to decide for themselves whether they want the stores in their community.

But opponents argued the Supercenters amount to low-wage, low-benefit job mills that displace better-paying jobs as independent retailers are driven out of business. They also fear the super-sized stores will contribute to suburban sprawl and jammed roadways.

Objections to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have surfaced elsewhere around the country, including Chicago, where the City Council recently stalled a measure to approve the first Wal-Mart inside city limits because of concerns about the company's labor practices.

The company succeeded in lobbying residents in Contra Costa County, where residents voted last month to allow a Supercenter. But Wal-Mart also lost a vote that day to allow it to open another store near San Diego.

Wal-Mart had spent more than $1 million in its Inglewood campaign, according to campaign finance records, while opponents spent a fraction of that amount.

Alversia Carmouche, a beauty shop owner who voted against the measure Tuesday, said she was convinced the behemoth discount store would ultimately hurt the community.

"Maybe the store would possibly be a good thing in the beginning, but it will drive out the smaller businesses," said Carmouche, 66. "I really feel it will absolutely close this town out."
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:14 AM   #22
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Ok my meeting was delayed so I'll give one example that I know first hand.

I use to work for a company where Wal Mart was one of our clients. Wal Mart was a big portion of our bread and butter and they knew it. Our billing would go several months overdue. But of couse we couldn't drop them and they knew that. They would keep our money, the money they owed us in short term accounts in order to draw interest, they would pay their vendors because of course they don't want them to pull out. After bills went 6 to 8 months past due they would finally pay us. The interest they made on keeping the money in these accounts make up for your low prices. This was something they were doing to the industry as a whole(architecture), some of our competition would try legal action but just couldn't afford to go up against Wal Mart. Wal Mart would only hire small to medium size firms to do their work. In fact Wal Mart actually convinced one of their firms(I'm sure there are more, but I know of this one first hand) to drop all other clients working soley for Wal Mart, promised they'd pay on time and send them a certain amount of stores per quarter. Well they sent them the certain amount of stores, but never paid on time and now the company no longer exists.
You are describing a practice that is all too common in business today.

Since there is a cost to respond (both direct and indirect), a company will inflict "pain" on another so long as the level of "pain" is less than the cost to respond.

It is practiced by individuals and mega corporations alike.
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:19 AM   #23
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Somehow I don't think the Walton family loses any sleep over all of this

There's a WalMart where I live. I went in there once for something, but I won't shop there ever again.

Target has good prices and I've never heard this kind of stuff about them
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:25 AM   #24
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You are describing a practice that is all too common in business today.

Since there is a cost to respond (both direct and indirect), a company will inflict "pain" on another so long as the level of "pain" is less than the cost to respond.

It is practiced by individuals and mega corporations alike.
Yes I agree but in my 7 years in the industry no corporation did it to the extent of Wal Mart and we worked with some major corporations even some larger than Wal Mart. No others asked companies to drop all other clients and then feed them empty promises. We had lost of clients that were late with payments but none as consistent as Wal Mart, most payment times were according to the economy but Wal Mart would still be 9 months late with several millions in bills even when the industry was at it's height in the late 90's.

I didn't even get into the fact that Wal Mart would on several occasions ask us to break the law and ignore certain building codes, saying "it's Ok we're Wal Mart they'll look past it". Even once threatening to take away the project away from us if we didn't.

I admit business can often be a very unethical place, but never have I ever dealt with anyone while in that industry or my new career that was as underhanded as Wal Mart.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:31 AM   #25
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Target has good prices and I've never heard this kind of stuff about them
Don't forget though, Target didn't allow bellringers from the Salvation Army this Christmas. My uncle tried boycotting them.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:40 AM   #26
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Don't forget though, Target didn't allow bellringers from the Salvation Army this Christmas. My uncle tried boycotting them.
Target doesn't allow ANY solicitors. They didn't single out the Salvation Army for special treatment.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:53 AM   #27
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Yes I agree but in my 7 years in the industry no corporation did it to the extent of Wal Mart and we worked with some major corporations even some larger than Wal Mart. No others asked companies to drop all other clients and then feed them empty promises. We had lost of clients that were late with payments but none as consistent as Wal Mart, most payment times were according to the economy but Wal Mart would still be 9 months late with several millions in bills even when the industry was at it's height in the late 90's.

I didn't even get into the fact that Wal Mart would on several occasions ask us to break the law and ignore certain building codes, saying "it's Ok we're Wal Mart they'll look past it". Even once threatening to take away the project away from us if we didn't.

I admit business can often be a very unethical place, but never have I ever dealt with anyone while in that industry or my new career that was as underhanded as Wal Mart.
800 lb gorillas tend to use their weight

Some managers take this to an extreme
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:03 AM   #28
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I've gone the rounds over Wal-mart with some co-workers. The bottom line for me is, diapers are cheaper at Wal-mart than Target or any other megamart. As long as the diapers are cheaper...that's who's getting my underpaid wages.

Sorry, but a lot of the "causes" I took on when I was younger simply did not fit into the reality of my life with a wife and kid. I'm not saying that I've given up everything I believed in, I've simply had to decide what are the priorities in my life.

And, cheaper diapers means more money to spend on U2.

EDIT: Plus, how can "Selena" on DVD for $7.99 ever be a bad thing. That's J.Lo at her finest and only at Wal-mart for that low, low price.

I'm with ya brother.........
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:38 AM   #29
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they have not slaughtered me yet

the sheep sharpen the knike and hand it to the butcher
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:42 AM   #30
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Re: they have not slaughtered me yet

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the sheep sharpen the knike and hand it to the butcher
Suicidal sheep...

(What did you mean by that?)
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